Sanef condemns attempts to silence editor Peter Bruce

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Tiso Blackstar editor at large Peter Bruce. (Netwerk24, file)
Tiso Blackstar editor at large Peter Bruce. (Netwerk24, file)

Johannesburg - The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) on Thursday condemned the intimidation and threats directed at Tiso Blackstar editor at large Peter Bruce outside his Johannesburg home.

"Media freedom is protected by the Constitution and Mr Bruce has exercised his right to express himself," Sanef executive director Chris Kabwato said.

"We also condemn the invasion of Mr Bruce's personal life as part of a cowardly act to silence him."

Kabwato said journalism was not a crime, but state capture was.

A group of protesters gathered outside Bruce's home on Thursday morning, holding their placards and singing in a circle. Police officers were seen standing on the side, watching the protest.

Attacks

On his garage, someone had written the words "Land or death". The placards stated "Peter Bruce why hide corruption", "Peter you murder the truth" and "Peter propagandist of WMC".

This came after Black First Land First issued a statement on Thursday, accusing the "white owned media" of unleashing "a massive campaign against the truth", and calling for protest action at Bruce's home.

Journalist Karima Brown noted on Facebook that protesters had attacked her verbally and physically as she took photos.

Business Day editor Tim Cohen was reportedly manhandled when he arrived at the scene.

The group apparently told police they would go to Business Day editor Tim Cohen's home on Friday.

On his Twitter account, Bruce posted a video of the protest and said the action was a response to a column he had written on Thursday morning.

The column was titled, The price of writing about the Guptas and detailed his belief that the family had approved and paid for his surveillance.

On June 19, 2017, a site called the WMC Leaks published an "exposé" about Bruce and claimed he was having an extramarital affair.

He was followed by an "investigative photojournalist" in 2016.

In his column, Bruce said someone had taken photos of him and his wife leaving their house for a walk with their dogs, of him having coffee with friends, him visiting the offices of psychologists as he looked for help for a relative, among other daily activities.

"What was done to me was a criminal act and I will obviously seek legal advice on how, or even if, to proceed," he said.

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